Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Senator Edward Kennedy, 1932-2009

Senator Kennedy died late last night from the brain tumor he had been fighting for more than a year. Although I'm essentially too young to have fully appreciated his impact on our nation, I'm still very saddened to learn of his death. His 47 years of service in the U.S. Senate were obviously full of passion and purpose; he deserves respect for that. A great liberal icon has passed, and I believe we are better off for having had Edward Kennedy in our lives.

His life was bloated with high expectations, celebrity hoopla, scandal and tragedy. In the midst of that, though, he was able to bring a measure of hope to his constituents and to U.S. citizens from all around the country. It's as if he, at some point, suddenly realized that he was given a special opportunity to make a difference; the Kennedy name became more than just a passport for women and wild times.

It may seem strange for me to feel a loss of a stranger nearly three times my age, but I nevertheless feel it. Perhaps it's Senator Kennedy's famous public profile. Perhaps it's his connection to President Obama's candidacy last year. Perhaps it's some kind of "gaper's delay" rubber-necking celebrity thing. I don't know. Perhaps it just feels right to mourn one of our honored dead.

In any event, rest in peace Teddy. I doubt there will be many more like you.

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